Published September 28, 2010 - 3:54pm
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Arguably the top two coaches in college football face off again Saturday night. This game is all the rage this week for a number of reasons. First reason: it’s Alabama and Florida. Second reason: it’s a fairly unexciting week of SEC matchups. Nationally, the other big games are probably Oregon/Stanford and of course Texas/Oklahoma (even though both teams are down this year).
A couple key stats as brought up by ESPN’s Pat Forde:
- Since 2001, Urban Meyer & Nick Saban have combined to win four national championships
- Since 2001, the two coaches have combined to take four different teams to 8 different BCS bowls (amazing)
Why is this game so huge? You shouldn’t need any reasons, but here are a few regardless:
- The winner of this game has gone on to win the last two national championships
- This game is a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship game which pitted the top two teams in the land, both undefeated.
With that said, this game is not as big as the last two meetings where each game represented the SEC championship and a birth in the national championship game. One team could lose this game (especially Florida) and easily still play for the SEC Championship which could be a rematch between the two teams.
Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are undoubtedly the two dominant coaches in the SEC. Their rise in recent years has coincided with the decline of several other previously big coaches (Phil Fulmer, Tuberville, and now maybe Mark Richt), making SEC coaching look like a zero-sum game. For further discussion on such a topic, SPORTSbyBROOKS has a very interesting piece tracing the decline of Mark Richt to the entrance of Urban Meyer in the SEC.
With both Meyer and Saban pulling consistent stud recruiting classes, it looks like this rivalry has some legs to it. Also, FYI, Alabama plays at Florida next year in the regular season.